Levitra, from the class of vardenafil hydrochloride, refers to a medicine which is taken orally for treatment of erectile dysfunction or ED in men. ED is a medical condition where the penis odes not harden and expand when the man is excited sexually. Levitra is developed only for men and not for the women or children, and must be taken under the supervision of a doctor.
- Cure erectile dysfunction or ED
- Safeguard man and/or his partner from sexually transmitted diseases or STDs, including HIV
- Increase a man’s sexual desire
- Act as a male form of birth control
Levitra was granted approval in 2003 by the US Food and Drug Administration. Levitra is produced by Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation and was marketed by GlaxoSmithKline, and distributed by Schering Corporation.
Levitra FDA Alert
US FDA released a warning for men in 2005 who are taking Levitra, Cialis, or Viagra. There were some men who have lost vision in one eye sometime after taking the drugs. This kind of loss of eyesight is called non-arteric anterior ischemic optic neuropathy or NAION. NAION can cause abrupt loss of vision because the flow of blood is hindered to the optic nerve.
However, US FDA cannot know yet if these drugs can really cause NAION because this medical condition also hit men who do not take these medicines. People with greater risks of having NAION are those who
- Are more than 50 years old
- Have high blood pressure or hypertension
- Have heart problems
- Have high level of cholesterol
- Have diabetes
- Have some eye problems
US FDA has recently approved new labels for Levitra, Cialis, and Viagra to include information about the risks of loss of vision or NAION. If you experience loss of eyesight while taking any of these drugs, discontinue using the drug and seek for immediate medical assistance.
Who must avoid using Levitra?
You should not take Levitra if you
- Are taking any medicines known as “nitrates”
- Are using recreational drugs known as “poppers,” such as amyl nitrate and butyl nitrate
- Are told by your healthcare provider not to engage in sexual activity due to health problems
Levitra Health Risks
Levitra is known to cause blood pressure to fall suddenly to a critical and unsafe level if it is taken with other medicines like nitrates and alpha-blockers, and recreational drugs with nitrates called “poppers.” An abrupt drop in blood pressure can result to dizziness, heart attack, stroke or fainting.
Rare side effects of Levitra are as follows:
- Priapism or a condition where an erection will not go away
- Changes in eyesight like seeing blue tinge to things or having some difficulty in distinguishing between the colors of blue and green
Common side effects are:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Upset stomach
What should I tell the healthcare provider?
Inform your healthcare provider that you are taking Levitra. If you need an emergency medical attention for a heart problem, it will be significant for your healthcare provider to know the last time you took Levitra.
And before taking Levitra, inform your healthcare provider if you:
- Have a history of experiencing a stroke
- Have low blood pressure or high blood pressure that is not controlled
- Take any medicines known as “alpha blockers” for prostate problems or hypertension
- Or any of your family have an uncommon heart condition called prolongation of the QT interval or long QT syndrome
- Have heart problems
- Have liver and kidney problems and need dialysis
- History of severe loss of vision
- Have retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic eye disease and it runs in the family
- Have stomach ulcers
- Have bleeding problems
- Have a history of having an erected which lasted for more than 4 hours
- Have a Peyronie’s illness or having a deformed penis
- Having blood cell problems like multiple myeloma, leukemia, or sickle cell anemia
Can other medicines or foods affect Levitra?
Levitra and other medicines can interact with one another. Inform your healthcare provider about the medicines you have taken, including the prescription or nonprescription medicines, herbal supplements and vitamins.
Obtaining Legal Assistance
Since all medications have its own side effects, it is the obligation of the manufacturer to produce products that are reasonably safe and to inform the medical community and the general public of the probable risks related with the drugs. If the manufacturer is unable to do so, they can be held liable if the patients were injured as a consequence of lack of warnings or the hazardous nature of the drug, under the legal theory called “product liability.”
If you or any of your family members have suffered from any of the symptoms or rare medical conditions while taking Levitra, contact your doctor or your healthcare provider right away. Then, you can look for an experienced lawyer to discuss your options and safeguard your legal rights to remedy for any injury caused by using Levitra.